The British pound weakened against other major currencies the pre-European session on Friday, after data showed that U.K. retail sales declined unexpectedly in October as rising interest rate bite spending ahead of the festive season.

Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that the U.K. retail sales logged a 0.3 percent monthly drop but slower than the September's revised 1.1 percent decrease. However, the fall confounded forecast of 0.3 percent gain.

Similarly, excluding auto fuel, retail sales slid 0.1 percent after a 1.3 percent decline. Sales were forecast to grow 0.4 percent.

On a yearly basis, the decline in retail sales deepened to 2.7 percent from 1.3 percent in September and worse than economists' expectations of 1.5 percent drop.

In the Asian trading today, the sterling held steady against its major rivals.

In the European trading now, the pound fell to nearly a 3-week low of 1.0991 against the Swiss franc, from an early high of 1.1038. On the downside, 1.08 is seen as the next support level for the sterling.

Against the yen and the U.S. dollar, the pound dropped to a 4-day low of 186.29 and a 3-day low of 1.2374from early highs of 187.15 and 1.2422, respectively. If the sterling extends its downtrend, it is likely to find support around 183.00 against the yen and 1.21 against the greenback.

Moving away from an early high of 0.8739 against the euro, the pound edged down to 0.8761. The sterling may find its support around the 0.88 region.

Looking ahead, the eurozone final HICP data for October is slated for release at 5:00 am ET.

In the New York session, Canada PPI and raw material prices for October, U.S. building permits and housing starts for October and U.S. Baker Hughes oil rig count data are set to be published.

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